The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould: A Review

As usual, thanks to the publisher and net galley for this ebook ARC! Was really excited to crack open a wonderfully queer paranormal story.

The Dead and The Dark follows Logan, whose dads are the stars of a paranormal investigation television show, and Ashley, whose boyfriend just disappeared in the town of Snakebite. Logan’s dad Brandon returned to Snakebite, the hometown of himself and his husband, and immediately after a young man goes missing, so Logan and Ashley team up with differing motives: Logan wants to clear her dad’s name, but Ashley wants to find her boyfriend and prove he’s just missing, not dead.

This book made me cry. That doesn’t happen a lot- books make me feel things, but never bring me to tears. The Dead and the Dark was able to do what many a book cannot.

I LOVED. This book.

Things I appreciated about this book: the chapters were not back and forth between the two point of views. It changes based on where you’re at in the story and whose point of view serves it better, and I really valued that break from tradition. I also really loved the dads in the story- I would read a prequel story just about their experiences in Snakebite as a kid. Logan herself was a really fun protagonist to read from, and I loved her characterization and personality. It also portrayed internalized homophobia fairly well through Ashley’s character.

I was less into the pacing. Sometimes it felt like it was going a mile a minute, then suddenly it would slow to a mile an hour. One moment I was bored, the next I was gripping the edge of my seat. I don’t know if this is a book I’d read while I was in a reading slump, because I’d have to force myself to get through some of the parts that dragged. My biggest problem with this book is that I found myself having a hard time getting into it, because of the pacing issue. The beginning is a bit slow, but once you get there- it’s worth it. It’s really, really worth it.

Still, it’s a five out of five for me.

Who would I recommend this book to? Lovers of Ghostbusters who wish there was more queer rep in the Ghostbusters world. Specifically if you loved the all female reboot of Ghostbusters (like myself), so you know, everyone except incels. Lovers of Buzzfeed Unsolved.

Just a heads up, in regards to triggers: there is a lot of rampant homophobia in this book, both internalized and expressed by others. There are hate crimes depicted on the page, and you experience what a small conservative, MAGA town feels like. If you are not in the right mental space to read about that, I would suggest waiting on this one.

Fun fact: my dad wanted to name me Logan, and his name is Brandon. No wonder I was so emotionally wrecked.

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